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Elisabeth LaMotte

What’s the Difference between Talking with a Shrink and Talking with a Friend?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 11, 2019

Atlantic Monthly reporter Olga Khazan reached out last month to discuss what it is like to practice therapy in Washington, DC. She was curious about what it means to work in a city where so many professionals have top secret security clearance or work in fields like politics and reporting where it can be complicated…

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Book Smart

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 19, 2019

If you happen to have teenagers navigating the college admissions process, this may be a tense life chapter for you and for your kids. The demands of keeping track of ACT and SAT examinations, subject tests, AP exams, the common application, and the personal statement makes me wonder how on earth any high school seniors…

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What Do Vacations and Affairs Have in Common?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 2, 2019

Therapy clients don’t spend a lot of time talking about how relaxed they feel. Except in mid-August when many DC dwellers return from vacations. I heard the words calm, chill and relaxed more often this week than I have all year. Interestingly, the relaxation that transpires following summer holidays seems more authentic than the sensations…

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 16, 2019

Lori Gottlieb took a circuitous route to becoming a therapist. A stint as a production assistant in Hollywood led her to become a script reviewer who developed a love for storytelling. To enhance her editorial understanding of a promising new show she was editing, (ER!) she began shadowing doctors in a local emergency room and…

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To Kill A Mockingbird

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 3, 2019

Aaron Sorkin’s version of To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway has obvious relevance and resonance in our current political climate. The acting is impressive and entertaining. The story is largely true to Harper Lee’s classic novel. But sometimes Broadway’s Atticus Finch sometimes sounds a little bit like the West Wing’s President Bartlett. That’s okay though.…

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What Are Some Strategies for Planning a Wedding if the Bride or Groom’s Parent is no Longer Living?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 3, 2019

From a psychological perspective, marriage is , in part, about separation from one’s family. It’s about making your partner your number one most important person. For most people, up until the point of engagement, one or both parents fill that role. This transition can feel incomplete when a fiancé and a beloved parent have never…

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Burn This

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 14, 2019

As a therapist, I am perpetually curious about what draws people into love. Relationships are the ingredients that create the recipes of my clients’ lives. And the dynamics of romantic love are an ongoing focus for many people in therapy. Landford Wilson’s Broadway play, Burn This, starring Keri Russell and Adam Driver is a story…

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Green Book

By Elisabeth LaMotte / June 3, 2019

The general commentary surrounding the Academy Award winning film Green Book zooms in on Hollywood, race relations and the historical details related to legendary musician Dr. Don Shirley, his driver, Tony Vallelonga, and their travels on a concert tour through the deep south in 1962. From a psychological perspective, a compelling and less discussed dimension…

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What’s the difference between ghosting and cloaking?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 1, 2019

A colleague recently shared this video posted by the dating app user who coined the term “cloaking” and asked for commentary. While the jilted dater shares an honest, vulnerable dating vignette and helps other dating app users feel less alone, what seems most noteworthy about her experience is how common it has become to experience…

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The Witch Elm

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 21, 2019

There are many schools of psychology, and a significant thread that connects them all is the acknowledgment of a human tendency to repeat the past. Cognitive Theory explores learned thoughts while Behavioral Theory explores learned behaviors. Systems Theory suggests that if a dynamic or pattern is familiar, it feels more comfortable, so the security of…

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